Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nuit Blanche, São Paulo style

Those of you from Toronto might be familiar with a yearly all-night arts and culture festival called Nuit Blanche that happens in our city every fall.  Well, São Paulo has  a similar event, called Virada Cultural, which happened this past Saturday and Sunday.  São Paulo being a much larger city, their event is also much larger, featuring 198 stages with hourly shows, plus thousands of booths, street performers, parades, tattoo stands, and other attractions.  My aunt and uncle very generously offered to take me around to see some of the highlights.

Since all of the roads in the downtown core were closed off for the festivities, we had to travel downtown by subway.  First stop, Santa Cruz station. Check out the beautiful mural on the way in:

First up, we watched some samba groups perform in Praca da Republica, one of the main squares in the city.  Next, we hopped back onto the subway and walked through a rave happening in a downtown park, on our way to check out some other attractions.  As we were walking, we got sidetracked by a parade of cyclists:

My aunt, uncle and I each chose a couple areas we wanted to check out.  My top  choice?  The "Nerd Dimension".  I'm definitely happy I chose it. Turns out that brazilian nerds are just like canadian ones, except they are a little bit more outgoing, and speak portuguese.  Check out the brazilian LARPers (I signed up for their mailing list, ooooh yeah, LARPing in Brazil):

I've also got a special treat for all my DnDer friends.  That's right, I found rulebooks in portuguese (as well as looking in on a bunch of brazilians playing a game in one of the booths). Who's up for a campaign in portuguese?

Next, we walked back to city hall to catch some more shows and events.  We soon found out that the Virada Cultural organizers have a thing for putting their shows on the walls of historical buildings.  Light shows, flag waving, acrobatics, tents, all went up on walls of historical government buildings.  Weirdest of all?  Soccer on the wall of City Hall:

 A very exciting evening, overall.  Can't wait for the next all-night arts festival, Nuit Blanche 2010 in Toronto !


  1. What fantastic nightlife! I'm so confused by the soccer (futbol?) on the wall! As a proud NZ resident i'd be more impressed with rugby on the wall ;o)

  2. I'm up for it.

    Make sure that it involves chicken, for the Joren. Frrrrrrrrrrrrango!